Everyday Meals

Royal food secrets: Princess Diana ate same food as guests but with one big difference

Princess Diana discusses feeling 'ashamed' in 1995 interview

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Former royal chef, Darren McGrady, worked at Buckingham Palace for 11 years. He has recently spoken about members of the royal family’s eating habits, including those of Diana and the Queen.

Darren McGrady told The Mirror there was often a big difference between the meals Diana ate and everyone else’s meals.

But nobody could tell that Diana’s food was different.

According to Mr McGrady, Diana would frequently have a fat-free version of whatever her guests were eating that evening.

The chef would have to “revamp” the menu to cut out fats for the princess, but “no one would know the difference”.

Mr McGrady also claimed that Diana loved to eat fish but never touched red meat.

The princess did not eat anything with mayonnaise or sour cream in it either.

Mr McGrady shared another story that perhaps would not surprise fans of Diana as she was known for her down-to-earth and humble personality: one time she cancelled lunch for her sons William and Harry and took them to McDonald’s instead.

Speaking to Marie Claire last year, the chef said: “I remember the Princess came into the kitchen one day and said, ‘Cancel lunch for the boys, I’m taking them out, we’re going to McDonald’s’.

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“And I said, ‘Oh my god your royal highness, I can do that, I can do burgers’,” Mr McGrady added.

“And she said, ‘No, it’s the toy they want’.

“Yeah, the boys loved McDonald’s, and going out to pizza, and having potato skins – sort of the American foods. They were royal princes but had children’s palates.”

According to Diana’s former butler and close friend, Paul Burrell, the princess would take her sons to McDonald’s often, and they would order Big Macs and chips.

As well as sharing information about Diana, the former royal chef has in the past recounted stories about the Queen’s food preferences.

Mr McGrady said that Her Majesty enjoyed eating Kellogg’s cereal for breakfast but did not like garlic.

He explained: “The Queen loves to eat any food from the estate, so game birds, pheasants, grouse, partridge.

“But she also loves chocolate, the darker the better.”

According to Mr McGrady, the Queen often ate fruit out of a plastic yellow container, while at other times she ate her meals from a £500,000 marble dish.

In his recently published book, ‘Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen’, McGrady also told readers that the Queen had four meals a day, but only ate small portions at each.

She enjoyed a lunch of grilled fish with wilted spinach or courgettes, or a simple grilled chicken with salad.

For afternoon tea, Her Majesty was partial to a scone or two with jam and clotted cream.

Mr McGrady was the Queen’s personal chef while he worked at the Palace, as well as cooking for other members of the Royal family, including Princess Diana and princes William and Harry.

The royal chef was cooking for Diana on the night of her death, August 31, 1997.

Mr McGrady claimed that he already had her dinner ready and waiting for her return.

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